50  Timely Reporting of a Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the SACSCOC

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: April 6, 2021
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  Provost
Responsible Officer: Associate Provost for Strategic Planning and Partnerships

I. Purpose

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (Commission or SACSCOC) requires its member institutions to have a written policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion. Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University), as an accredited member institution, adheres to the Commission's Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

II. Designated Responsibility

The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison is responsible for notifying or seeking approval from the Commission as appropriate for a substantive change. MTSU's academic (Deans) and administrative (divisional Vice Presidents) officers are responsible for informing the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison of any University changes that fall under SACSCOC's substantive change policy in a timely manner to ensure internal review and approval before submitting to the Commission. It is the responsibility of the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison to provide guidance in determining whether potential changes are substantive and information about revisions to the SACSCOC substantive change policy.

III. Procedures for Implementation 

A.  An MTSU academic or administrative officer must inform the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison in writing when planning a substantive change as defined by SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

B.  The academic or administrative officer planning the substantive change is responsible for timely submission to the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison of all information and materials needed for the substantive change notification, proposal, prospectus, and/or other documentation associated with the specific type of proposed substantive change per SACSCOC requirements.

C.  The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison:

1.  Initiates the timely reporting and completion of required SACSCOC notification and/or approval documentation for a substantive change upon receipt of information from academic and administrative officers;

2.  Assembles the notification, prospectus, and/or other documentation required to meet SACSCOC policies and standards for completeness and appropriateness. And forwards to the President for review and approval;

3.  With the President’s approval, submits the substantive change and supporting documentation to SACSCOC; and

4.  Tracks SACSCOC actions related to substantive change submissions.

IV. Publication of SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Timeline

The SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures, a Timeline for Completion of Substantive Change Procedures, and a Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change chart are published on the Office of the University Provost website. The Timeline for Completion of Substantive Change Procedures is also included in the Selected List of Deadlines for Department Chairs maintained through the Office of the University Provost. The MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison electronically distributes the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures to MTSU's academic and administrative officers annually at the beginning of the fall semester.

V. Annual Review of Policy 

This policy, the Timeline for Completion of Substantive Change Procedures, and Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change will be reviewed and updated by the MTSU SACSCOC accreditation liaison annually by the beginning of the fall semester to ensure continuing compliance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

Forms: 

Reporting the Various Types of Substantive Change (Revised 2/23/21)

Timeline for Completion of Substantive Change Procedures (Revised 2/23/21)

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); April 6, 2021.

Last Reviewed: April 2021.

References: SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures